Vietnamese Airbnb startup raises $3 mln from venture capitalists

By Thanh Thu   January 3, 2019 | 05:41 pm PT
Vietnamese Airbnb startup raises $3 mln from venture capitalists
The sharing economy is a development trend in many business areas in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress
Vietnamese homestay platform Luxstay has raised $3 million from CyberAgent Ventures and other foreign investors in its bridge round.

Representatives of Luxstay, the Vietnamese homestay booking start-up, said the total capital raised could rise to $5 million as negotiations are still ongoing with interested investment funds.

CyberAgent Ventures (CAV), a Japan based investment firm specializing in incubation and investment in early-stage companies, played a leading role in directing the structure and execution of this funding round, the third for the firm after the seed and pre- Series A rounds.

This is also the second time the firm has injected capital in Luxstay, after its initial investment in the company’s pre-Series A round in early 2018.

Dzung Nguyen, CyberAgent managing director for Vietnam and Thailand, believes that the "sharing economy" is a development trend in many business areas, and it will impact both tourism and real estate markets. 

"We believe the Luxstay model capitalises on this trend, and will create a major impact on the market in the coming time," he said.

According to Luxstay, there may be millions of townhouses, condominiums and holiday villas that are willing to participate in the short-term accommodation market. 

Therefore, the company has targeted having several hundred thousand properties participating in its home-sharing platform over the next 5 years.

The founder of the application, Nguyen Van Dung, said that with the current development speed and market potential, Luxstay will focus on accumulating resources to speed up technological development towards building an effective ecosystem to lead this new industry. 

The startup plans to find new investors for its next Series A round in mid-2019 with a potential scale of $10 million.

Launched in 2016, Luxstay now has a network of nearly 10,000 properties across the country. This is a short-term rental booking platform for apartments, villas and other homestay accommodations positioned in the mid and high-end segments of Vietnam’s real estate market. 

A pioneer in building a platform allowing Vietnamese homeowners to participate in the rental market, the company has created new accommodation facilities for increasing numbers of youth and professionals who travel for work or leisure. 

Luxstay had also received much attention from foreign funds in its previous venture rounds. According to Crunchbase, an online database on investment activity, Luxstay raised $500,000 in its seed round in June 2017 from Vietnam-based ESP Capital and Japanese Genesia Ventures. 

Another $2.5 million was raised in May 2018 in its pre-Series A round from CyberAgent Ventures (Japan), Genesia Ventures (Japan), ESP Capital (Vietnam) and Nextrans (South Korea). 

In September 2018, the startup became a Vietnamese strategic partner of Rakuten Travel, the tourism branch of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. Y1 Venture and other firms were also involved in the bridge round.

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